Acetaminophen and Low Back Pain

A recent study in the medical journal Lancet suggests that the use of acetaminophen for acute low back pain does not decrease recovery time. The study participants were divided into various groups: a regular dose group, an as needed group, and a placebo group. Median recovery time for all three groups were nearly identical.
The researchers conclude that regular dosing or as needed dosing of acetaminophen (Tylenol) does not effect recovery time compared with placebo, and that universal endorsement of the drug should be questioned. 1

Conversely, there is evidence to support the use of physical therapy including manual therapy and specific exercise to treat acute low back pain. 2,3.

1. Williams CM, Maher CG, Latimer J,et al. Efficacy of paracetamol for low back pain: double-blind,randomized control trial. The Lancet.24 July 2014.

2. Hides j, Jull G, Richardson C. Long term effects of specific stabilizing exercises for first episode low back pain. Spine. 2001;26(11)243-248

3. Flynn T, Fritz J, Whitman J. A clinical prediction rule for classifying patients with low back pain who demonstrate short term improvement with spinal manipulation. Spine. 2002;27(24)2835-2843.

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About runningyourbody

I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Certified Pilates instructor, and runner with celiac disease. I am passionate about educating people on running, pilates, and women’s health topics. I am trained in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as pre and post partum impairments. In my free time I can be found anywhere outside. I enjoy training for races with friends, cooking gluten free meals, and traveling with my husband. My goal is to share information with you in a lighthearted and enjoyable forum. I am always contributing fun and interesting posts on my blog. Feel free to check it out @
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